Data reveals increases in summer tourism | SummitDaily.com

Data reveals increases in summer tourism

Summit Daily staff report
news@summitdaily.com

Summer bookings at Western-mountain resorts finish out strong while initial winter bookings are off to a fast start, according to DestiMetrics. The Denver-based company supplies lodging metrics and market intelligence for the North American mountain travel industry.

At the end of August, summer figures combining actual occupancy going back to May and on-the-books reservations for the next two months are at 103 percent of last year's summer totals. Also revenue has risen by 11 percent compared to last summer.

September was a particularly strong month for bookings, with occupancy up 17.5 percent and revenues climbing by 26.3 percent over last year's figures.

The early figures for the 2015-16 ski season are also promising. Preliminary data shows as of Aug. 31, aggregated on-the-books occupancy for this November through April is up four percent compared to the same time last year. Also aggregated revenues for the upcoming winter season are up 9.4 percent.

"October 31 marks the official end of summer, so the season still has some time to go; but, with both September and October pacing dramatically ahead of last year, the final outcome will grow even more impressively before we cross the finish line," says Ralf Garrison, director of DestiMetrics. "We're heading into the prime winter-booking season, riding the wave of our third consecutive record summer with some expectation that momentum will carry into ski season."

The company releases the monthly Mountain Market Briefing to participating destinations, which recently was optimistic but cautionary. Garrison noted that "geopolitical forces and global economic volatility may bring hesitancy to less-committed winter vacationers, and we will be monitoring those indicators and consumer's response closely."

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Based on data collected by DestiMetrics, the company said the much-coveted destination guest who books earlier, stays longer and spends more money has already begun to make winter reservations, as the booking pace has moved ahead of last year.

The figures announced in the Briefing-indicate that the highly sought after destination guest that books earlier, stays longer and spends more money is already making winter reservations as indicated by the booking pace moving ahead of last year's rate.

"We expect room rates will be strategic in many destinations as resorts bump up against capacity during peak periods since lodging inventory is currently experiencing limited growth," observed Garrison. "But between the uncertainties of snowfall and current economic fluctuations, challenges and opportunities may come in equal measure and appear quickly with the potential to define the season's dynamics in a relatively short period of time."

DestiMetrics, established in 2004, partners with approximately 290 property management companies in 19 mountain destinations that represent approximately 27,500 rooms in Colorado, Utah, California, Nevada, Oregon and Wyoming.

Shock waves continue following Millisor's death

Aftershocks in the wake of Rob Millisor's death continue as family, friends and business associates come to grips with his sudden death in an earthquake-ravaged region of Nepal.

Due to his passing, the Town of Breckenridge is delaying the grand opening of Prospector Park, originally scheduled for Sunday, October 18. Kim Dykstra, Breck director of communications, issued a press release announcing the change and thanking everyone for their understanding. At this time a make up date has not been determined.

Jeanne Bistranin, executive director for the Summit Foundation, also issued a statement about Millisor's extensive contributions to the community.

Millisor was a board of trustee member for the Summit Foundation since 2006.

"Rob Millisor was a passionate leader and an inspiration to all of us," she wrote. "He was the Chair of The Summit Foundation's Development Committee and an integral member of the Executive Committee."

She noted that Millisor spearheaded the organization's annual golf tournament fundraiser.

"Rob tirelessly raised donations for The Summit Foundation and numerous other organizations to make sure that this community continued to be great for everyone, now and in the future," she noted.

Mike Schilling, president of the board of trustees for the Summit Foundation, said the community was shocked and saddened by the news.

"Rob was one of the most generous and genuine people, and he was always thinking about what was best for our community," he wrote. "We honor him and the legacy he leaves behind."

Schilling called Millisor a "strategic philanthropist" who was constantly had new ideas to leverage and increase donations.

"We will probably never know all the things Rob did to help people near and far," he wrote. "His reach was wide."

In 2015 Millisor started the Global Giving Fund at the Summit Foundation, which seeks to assist Summit County residents who are volunteering internationally. Also this year along with his brother Mike Millisor and business partner Mike Dudick, the trio donated $1 million through their company, Breckenridge Grand Vacations, to the Summit Foundation to guarantee long-term community support from BGV regardless of potential market fluctuations.

Bistranin said the loss would be felt personally and professionally.

"Rob truly cared, and he was an integral part of our work in the community," she said. "On behalf of our Board of Trustees and the staff of The Summit Foundation, our heartfelt sympathies and condolences to Rob's family, his countless friends, the Breckenridge Grand Vacations family, our entire community and beyond. We grieve with you,"

Breck commercial vacancies at record low

Commercial vacancy rates in Breck continue at historic-lows, according to the October newsletter from Wolfe and Company commercial real estate brokers.

Company president Jack Wolfe said this is a continuing trend.

"For the third quarter in a row, Breckenridge is at a historic low for retail and restaurant vacancy," he wrote. "This continues to put upward pressure on lease rates."

The overall vacancy rate for retail and restaurants at the end of this September was 1.6 percent. This represents a 35.6 percent decrease from last year.

At the end of this September there were 12,513 vacant retail square footage. This represents a decrease of 7,394 square feet or 50.9 percent compared to last years figures.

The number of vacant retail spaces also dropped from 18 spaces last year to 11 this season, which represents a drop of 37 percent.

The newsletter also reported positive commercial trends, which exceed prior statistics.

Total taxable sales thru August are ahead of the previous year by 8.7 percent. This improvement was most noted in retail sales, which thru July are ahead of last year, by 10.4 percent. Restaurant and bar sales have topped last year by 5.6 percent thru July.

Additionally, lodging revenue thru the end of July was up by 4.7 percent compared to the same point last year.

Wolfe noted that overall Breck has 779,579 square feet of retail and restaurant space.

At the Western Colorado Real Estate Summit last week in Denver, Wolfe said Denver was cited as one of the top five commercial real estate markets in the country, which could trickle over to Summit County.

"When the Front Range is hot, mountain markets like Breckenridge tend to thrive as well," he noted.

Frisco direct primary care practice to hold ribbon cutting celebration

Our Town Medical, a direct primary-care practice located in Frisco, will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, October 21 at its 301 West Main Street location.

The event will kick off with appetizers and beverages at 5 p.m. There will be free flu shots for the first 50 people , along with free mini massages. The Summit County Chamber of Commerce will attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony at 6 p.m.

OTM, which began operations in September, are the only direct primary care practice in Summit County. Their stated mission is to provide more personal, old-fashioned care.

The practice doesn't accept insurance plans, but instead offers a monthly subscription service that includes house calls, video teleconferencing, text message contact, and even monthly massages.

The open house will provide an opportunity to glean more knowledge about direct primary care or concierge care, an innovative health care model practiced by OTM.

"It's a simple idea that's gaining traction across the country," Dr. Eric Gibb, lead doctor and founder of OTM, said.

The monthly subscription plan ranges in cost from $95 for children and $195 for adults, and grants unlimited access for checkups, exams, consultations, along with routine procedures and prescriptions. Direct primary care would not supplant medical insurance, which is still legally required for hospitalizations or specialized care.

Dr. Gibb, a primary care physician for 17 years, started OTM in Buena Vista last year and is now expanding to Summit County based on success in Chaffee County.

It's the best of both worlds – old-fashioned care with the benefits of technology," he adds.

To attend the Ribbon-Cutting and Open House event on Wednesday, Oct. 21, please RSVP: http://bit.ly/1P2euub

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